On Saturday morning, I interviewed a teenager who lives in what sounds like a chaotic household. A couple of the nighttime e-mails I’ve gotten from her have been sent at or after 1:30 a.m. At the end of our hour together, we hugged instead of shaking hands.
She mentioned, more than once, that she wishes she had a parent who pushed her and set an example of how to be worldly and upwardly mobile. I’ve never heard a kid say that, mid-upbringing. That’s more typically a post-upbringing reflection of someone who’s shocked everyone by having officially “made it” or someone who’s bitter about not having made it. In any event, this girl is hell-bent on upwardly mobilizing herself, and it’s clear that the teachers she’s had are the ones who have served as her proxy life coaches. A scenario that happens all the time, yet never enough.
Like most Libras, I’ve always been indecisive. When I was trying to figure out what career to take up, I thought about veterinary medicine, museum curating, clinical psychology, journalism, law, K-12 schoolteaching. Aside from the “another lawyer?” jokes offered up by the kinds of middle-aged men who are always worrying about being sued, the only prospective path that was ever openly scoffed at was the schoolteaching. It wasn’t considered a fitting ambition for the go-getters.
I watched the Grammys last night, a week after watching the Super Bowl. Extravaganzas like these usually get me thinking about misallocations. Misallocations of resources, misallocations of priorities. When I turned on my computer this morning, one of the first things I read was a poll question about Bruce Springsteen’s opening act. Here’s a poll question I’d be interested in putting out there: When they first demonstrated the drive and talent to earn their livings as entertainers and athletes, how many of this month’s Grammy winners and Giants players got laughed at?
Such Masterpieces…My Masterpieces…
1 week ago